Don’t forget your instrument . . . or your voice

Ontario Mennonite Music Camp gears up for 28th summer session

March 2, 2011 | Focus On | Number 5
By Ingrid Loepp Thiessen | Ontario Mennonite Music Camp
Campers who play stringed instruments—including Saskia van Arrangon, Jordan Klassen and Daniel Penner, pictured—as well as brass, woodwinds and piano, or those who sing, are all welcome at the Ontario Mennonite Music Camp, held each summer at Conrad Grebel University College, Waterloo, Ont.

It’s 11 p.m. We’ve been treated to the final program—a full, original musical about recycling prepared in two short weeks—and heard dozens of songs done by wind instruments, strings, brass, vocal quartets and pianists. We’re in awe, tired just thinking about what went into the show. Now the only one thing left to do is get the performers—our kids—home!

Ontario Mennonite Music Camp is a rare find in the world of summer camps: a two-week overnight camp for 12- to 16-year-olds on the campus of Conrad Grebel University College, Waterloo, Ont. It’s two weeks of daily chapels; it’s a chance for campers to hone their musical craft with instruction from university-trained musicians. Singers and piano, string, wind and brass players all find their voice.

It’s about 40 awesome home-cooked meals straight from the Grebel kitchen. Not to be missed are the wacky mealtime activities, the performances in local churches and nursing homes, the nightly campfires and a trip to the beach. Unforgettable are the late-night talks, spontaneous jamming, secret friends, the dormitory experience and the wonderful feeling of being with people who love music.

The camp is in its 28th year of nurturing teens to use their musical skills to build up the body of Christ. The camp strives to encourage and equip teens to share their gifts of music with their churches. The campers learn music in a variety of genres, striving to worship God in many different styles.

A half-hour after the last notes of the show have died away, the campers are beginning to trickle out, not without endless hugs, hasty plans for a camp reunion, and teary goodbyes, knowing that even if they beg, they can’t stay another night.

 Campers of all abilities are welcome. Bursaries may be available from your church or the camp. For more information, visit grebel.uwaterloo.ca/ommc.

Campers who play stringed instruments—including Saskia van Arrangon, Jordan Klassen and Daniel Penner, pictured—as well as brass, woodwinds and piano, or those who sing, are all welcome at the Ontario Mennonite Music Camp, held each summer at Conrad Grebel University College, Waterloo, Ont.

Singing around the piano is a popular activity at the Ontario Mennonite Music Camp in Waterloo, Ont., each summer, as Heather Imrie, Marlo Young-Sponga, Taya Kehler and Kiana Epp can attest.

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This sounds like an incredibly rewarding experience. I wonder when camp takes place.

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